New Year, New You: How To Make That Resolution Stick
We’re officially into a brand new year – and that, of course, means New Year’s resolutions. After the gluttony of Christmas, it’s not surprising so many people decide to make a change, whether it’s hitting the gym more often or tackling that annoying habit you have.
No matter how good your intentions, the promises of “new year, new me” in January quickly turn into “I give up” by February. It’s been reported that 80% of resolutions fail by February, which means there are a lot of feelings of failure out there.
As we make our way through the year, you might be finding yourself in that tricky area where, thanks to a lack of motivation, your resolution is looking less than appealing. However, it doesn’t need to be this way; with just a few simple tricks, you can make sure your resolution is still in place when the bells ring for 2019.
Keep it interesting
One of the reasons many of our resolutions fail is because we lose interest. Sure, going to gym every morning seems achievable on New Year’s Day, but give it a week and you’ll be sick at the sight of a treadmill.
If your resolution is beginning to feel a little stale, don’t be afraid to change things up. If the gym is getting you down, try out an exercise class or take up a new sport. If your diet isn’t going well, hunt down some tasty new recipes that are also healthy.
A resolution doesn’t need to be overwhelmingly hard: if you feel that yours is, be creative and come up with new ideas for sticking to it. This might take some experimenting but, by trying things out, you can find the right solution for you.
We hear it every year.
“By the end of 2018, I’ll have six pack.”
“This year, I’m going to going to the gym five times a week.”
While it’s great to aim high, making resolutions like this also makes it much easier to fail. They just aren’t achievable. If you’re a student or working, it might just not be feasible to go to the gym more than once or twice a week – and that’s fine.
When planning your resolution, take a good look at what resources you actually have, whether it’s time, money or something else. By doing this, you can make sure you create a resolution that you can actually achieve rather than setting yourself up to fail.
Once you have started enacting your resolution, it’s important to reassess every now and then. Although something might work for you at first, our lives change and that means your goals may have to as well.
Track your progress
We all make a resolution with an end goal in sight, and it can be incredibly frustrating if you can’t see that goal getting any closer.
That’s why it’s so important to keep track of how you’re doing and see how far you’ve come. Research has suggested people who do this are more likely to keep their resolutions so it’s definitely worth doing. Think of keeping a chart or a journal to record your journey and note down all your successes, like every time you lose a pound or two, or manage to run for an extra minute on your jog.
You can even keep tabs of your failures. That way, if the end result ever seems out of reach, you can look back and see how far you’ve already come.
We’ve all heard of using rewards as an incentive to get someone to do something, whether it’s your pet or a child. Why should training yourself be any different?
As it goes, January can be a pretty bleak month, particularly if you’ve placed a restriction on yourself as part of your resolution. You can make life a little more exciting by treating yourself; the NHS suggests this can also help you to keep your resolution going.
As you progress in reaching your end goal, celebrate these little victories by giving yourself a reward. If you’ve managed to not bite your nails all week, treat yourself by getting a pedicure. If your diet is going really well, allow yourself a ‘cheat day’ and order a pizza.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard and derail your progress. Instead, use these treats as a way to congratulate yourself for the hard work you’ve achieved and motivate yourself to keep pushing forward.
Show some self-compassion
The worst thing about a resolution is how you feel when it’s not going right. You might feel like a failure, or like you’ll never achieve the things you want to.
Beating yourself up over a failed resolution is never going to have any positive effects; it’ll just make you feel awful and encourage you to slip back into old routines. We all trip up every now and then, but, as the American Psychological Association tells us, it’s important to recover from these mistakes and not let it completely destroy progress.
If you do have a setback, remember you’re only human. Move on.
Whatever your resolution, make sure you’re doing your best to achieve it. It’s always important to develop as a person, but that doesn’t mean you should be overly harsh on yourself or never ever fail. And if your resolution doesn’t work, don’t feel too badly about it – there’s always next year!